Unless you're very lucky, you've probably experienced a lackluster lip lock at least once in your lifetime. However, even worse than receiving a bad kiss is being a bad kisser. A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology found that 59 percent of men and 66 percent of women would no longer be interested in someone if they shared a bad kiss. Since virtually everyone would like to be able to call themselves a kissing connoisseur, but talking about it can be awkward, we're here to provide the answers. In truth, the key to kissing may lie in the science behind the whole affair. According to a study, the direction you tilt your head could make you a better kisser.
Research out of the University of Bath in 2017 looked at the inherent bias humans have when kissing. The study found that two-thirds of kissers had the predilection to lean to the right. Whether the participants were right- or left-handed predicted the direction the kiss initiator's head leaned, hence the predominant right-sided tilt. So, if you're left-handed, you may have to be more intentional with which way you tilt your head when you're going in. On the other hand, if you generally tilt your head to the right, don't try to switch it up and lean left. It's better to stay the course on the right side.
It's common to find yourself in the awkward tango of trying to land the right position when kissing. To minimize the chances of a seriously uncomfortable moment, and to optimize your kissing experience, be sure to always tilt your head to the right. So much about a great kiss is dependent on good chemistry, but starting on the same wavelength will make it better for both of you—and clearly demonstrate that you know what you're doing.
Looking for more ways to up your kissing game? Read on. And if you're looking to win someone over, check out Wearing This Color Instantly Makes You More Attractive, Studies Show.
Match your partner's rhythm.
William Crane, the author of The Art of Kissing, discusses how, for the most part, men and women have different desires when it comes to kissing intensity. Crane found that men frequently wanted their partner to be more aggressive with their tongue and be an active part of the kiss rather than just being along for the ride. On the other hand, the most frequent kissing complaint among women was about partners who try to jam their tongues down their throat. Finding a comfortable balance between you and your partner's desires is key to sharing a successful smooch. And if you're wondering what else turns them on, check out The No. 1 Thing Women Do That Others Find Sexy.
Make it moist.
Men prefer wetter kisses, and according to Helen Fisher, MD, this might have something to do with the hormonal makeup of saliva. "Saliva is like a chemical cocktail, and hooking up may have evolved to help us quickly tell if someone is a good mate or not," she told Wired. Additionally, "there's evidence that saliva has testosterone in it, and there's also evidence that men like sloppier kisses with more open mouth," Fisher said. "That suggests to me that they are unconsciously trying to transfer testosterone to trigger the sex drive in women." And for more on what draws people in, check out This Is the Easiest Way to Make Yourself More Attractive, Study Says.
Time it right.
In her book The Science of Kissing, Sheril Kirshenbaum emphasizes the importance of timing when it comes to locking lips. Kissing your partner in a calm, happy setting will optimize the experience for both of you while ensuring your partner is in the right state of mind. A stressful situation can trigger a person's cortisol, which would hinder their enjoyment of the kiss. And for more factors that could be an issue, check out This Is the No. 1 Turn-Off for Men, According to a Therapist.
Learn your partner's likes and dislikes.
If you have the benefit of being with someone for an extended period of time, that gives you an advantage. Over the course of your relationship, you can learn what your partner likes and dislikes when it comes to kissing. While you can study all of the tips and tricks there are in the world, you could come to realize your partner actually wants something completely different. After you learn your partner's preferences, you can easily cater to them, which will make you a superstar smoocher in their book. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.